Alburtis Animal Hospital
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Action Plan
Rev. June 26, 2020

Background thoughts:

During these challenging times, we all need to remain flexible in our planning and procedures, but inflexible in our desire to serve each other in the best way we know how given current circumstances and guidance from governmental and health authorities.

When thinking about what patients truly need to be seen in the hospital, we are using this guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association as a framework for our decisions:

We consider if we would feel comfortable explaining our reasoning to others and ask ourselves:

Can this case be managed in a way that mitigates the human health risks of COVID-19 transmission between the veterinary staff, owner, and their respective families and communities?
Is this procedure necessary to save the animal’s life?
Is this procedure, exam, test, etc. necessary to alleviate pain or suffering?
Does this prevent zoonotic disease?
Can this patient safely wait until human health risks are lower?

Plan:

Alburtis Animal Hospital will be operating under the following guidelines until the governor of Pennsylvania moves our county out of the "Green" Zone of "Aggressive Mitigation Lifted" and mitigation protocols are eliminated. We likely will adjust as we go based on how things progress in our community and with our clients and staff. Comments are provided to give background, rationale, and potential outcomes.

 

Hours:

  • As of June 26, 2020, we are continuing our regular business hours of:
    • Monday through Thursday - 8:00 am to 8:00 pm with hospital admissions starting at 7:30 am
    • Friday - 8:00 am to 6:00 pm with hospital admissions starting at 7:30 am
    • Saturday - 8:00 am to 12:00 noon.

Appointment protocol:

  • We are returning to allowing clients in the building by appointment only.  There will be no exceptions to the appointment-only policy for clients being allowed in the building due to space constraints for social distancing.
  • We will still be providing “curbside” appointments for clients who wish to continue with that mode of service for any reason. 

  • When you arrive at the hospital for your pets appointment or admission time, we ask you to call our main phone number at 610-967-7387 when you are parked in the parking lot.

    • In-hospital office visit appointments (not for surgical or other drop-off appointments nor for technician appointments):
      • We will call you back or come to escort you and your pet into the building and directly into an exam room.
      • Only one person per household per appointment will be allowed inside the building due to space constraints for social distancing.
      • All clients entering the building must be wearing a face mask/cloth covering that is fully covering the mouth and nose and that mask must remain properly in place throughout the entire time you are in the hospital.  There can be no exceptions to this policy.  If for any reason you cannot or will not be able to wear a mask, we absolutely will still be able to provide care for your pet, but the appointment will need to be a "curbside"appointment.
      • We will provide hand sanitizer and ask that you use that upon entering the building and again just before leaving.
      • We will ask that you remain in the exam room for the time you are in the building.  Because of size limitations of our facility we will be attempting to minimize time in which we cannot be "socially distanced" so for some pets we may need to perform some treatments outside of the exam room to help limit risk of exposure for you and for our staff.
      • Upon completion of your appointment we will be doing an in-exam-room checkout so upon completion of that process you will be able to return directly from the exam room to your vehicle without stopping at our reception desk.
    • Curbside appointments, drop-off appointments, and technician appointments:
      • A technician will come to retrieve your pet as soon as possible.
      • Cats must be in a carrier.
      • Dogs must have a leash attached to well-placed harness or collar
      • We are focusing on a quick handoff of your pet in the parking lot that decreases person-to-person contact as much as possible.
      • The individuals coming to get your pet will be wearing a mask, will be minimizing conversation with you, and will place a slip leash on a dog on the ground/pick up the carrier with cat/small dog in it, and bring your pet into the building.
      • We will not get pets out of the car, take a pet from your arms, lean into the car, stand and talk to you at the car window, etc.
      • We will try to discuss your pet’s medical needs as much as possible over the phone either before or after your pet is taken into the hospital. After the exam, necessary testing, etc., we will return your pet to your car along with any needed medications, foods, etc.
  • Payment for all services and medication/food will be accepted as usual by cash, check, credit card over the phone, or Care Credit via the link on our website www.AlburtisVet.com - CareCredit 

  • If you have traveled outside the United States in March, come in direct contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19, or have tested positive yourself, your animal should only be seen in truly urgent situations. You should send your pet to Alburtis Animal Hospital with a trusted agent and be available by phone during the exam.
  • While you stay outside Alburtis Animal Hospital for your pet's appointment or to pick up food/medication, you should stay in your cars, or if standing outside, you will need to try to be at least 6 feet away from our employees (leash distance.)
  • For hospitalized patients, only the pet, pet food, and medications will be accepted since sanitization of toys and bedding is too difficult during these circumstances.

Scheduling appointments:

  • Based on guidance from public health authorities and veterinary immunologists, we believe a 4-week delay is highly unlikely to have a negative outcome for the vast majority of our patients if that delay is unavoidable.
  • We are scheduling new appointments for annual wellness exams, medication-monitoring testing,  and elective procedures with priority given to the following patients:
    • Any patient overdue for vaccinations, medication-monitoring, or disease-monitoring testing
    • Spays (ovariohysterectomy or ovariectomy) of dogs & cats
    • Castrations of cats ages 8 months or older
    • Castrations of dogs ages 12 months or older
  • Euthanasias:
    • If you desire to be present for your pet's euthanasia, we will allow one representative of your family to be present for the euthanasia.  We will require that they wear a mask (we will provide one if needed,) and we will try to maintain appropriate social distancing as much as possible.  We know this is likely to be the most difficult part of this plan for all of us, but because of the closeness of personal contact during euthanasia procedures there is no other way to maintain safe social distance for our staff and clients.
  • Any calls for sick appointments will be triaged by our staff to allow for as many patients to be treated remotely as possible – we are using a telemedicine service (TeleVet) to allow us to help our patients as well as we can.
  • Please take this opportunity to go to gettellevet.com/owners to install the app on your mobile device/tablet or familiarize yourself with the desktop/browser format.
  • Refills on Pet Food & Medications:
  • We understand people are looking to stock up on pet foods and medications and we are hoping to accommodate this as best possible with a limit of no more than a 60-day supply of medications that are dispensed as individual doses.  There are some medications for which we have a very limited supply that we will need to limit to no more than 30-day supplies.
  • If you wish to purchase any Hill's foods, please consider going to https://hillstohome.com/register-pet to register for HillsToHome delivery of your food.
  • We will attempt to fill additional necessary medications on a case-by-case basis. This will depend on the Doctor's recommendation, the type of medication and the availability of that medication. Currently, we do not have much of a shortage, but that can change quickly. As a reminder, you can order these items on our online store via the link at alburtisah.vetsfirstchoice.com and have them delivered to your home to help avoid unnecessary travel and contacts.
  • We will accept payment by phone and deliver food & medications we have in stock to your car in the parking lot.

We will send out follow-up emails as things change. Please check our Facebook page www.facebook.com/AlburtisAnimalHospital for information as well. Know that we are ramping up cleaning throughout our facility. Our team is vigilant about washing hands for 20 seconds and as always, we are doing so in between working with different patients.


These are unprecedented times. Please try and support our local businesses as best possible. These will be very trying times over the next few weeks and possibly months, but we can work together to help one another. 


Please be kind and patient to all. We will do all we can to help the pets, our team and our community to work through these difficult circumstances. 

Because we were limited on the type of appointments we could see in March through May, we do have a large back-log of wellness appointments that were due in those months that we are trying to work through while still trying to take care of wellness appointments that are due now.  So, please be patient with us as we try to accomodate our patients and clients in as timely a manner as is possible given the absolute limitations of how many appointments we can physically see in a day.

Stay safe and healthy.


Sincerely,
The doctors and staff of Alburtis Animal Hospital

610-967-7387
[email protected]
www.AlburtisVet.com


Informational resources for Novel Coronavirus COVID-19:
https://www.pavma.org/general/custom.asp?page=COVID-19#PetOwners
https://www.avma.org/sites/default/files/2020-03/covid-19-faq-pet-owners_031620.pdf
https://www.cdc.gov/

Location

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Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Monday

8:00 am

8:00 pm

Tuesday

8:00 am

8:00 pm

Wednesday

8:00 am

8:00 pm

Thursday

8:00 am

8:00 pm

Friday

8:00 am

6:00 pm

Saturday

8:00 am

12:00 pm

Sunday

Closed

Closed

Monday
8:00 am 8:00 pm
Tuesday
8:00 am 8:00 pm
Wednesday
8:00 am 8:00 pm
Thursday
8:00 am 8:00 pm
Friday
8:00 am 6:00 pm
Saturday
8:00 am 12:00 pm
Sunday
Closed Closed